• hemorrhage;
  • injury;
  • occult hypoperfusion;
  • prognostic indicator



To evaluate the ability of admission base excess (ABE) to predict blood transfusion requirement and mortality in dogs following blunt trauma.


Retrospective study 2007–2009.


University Veterinary Teaching Hospital.


Fifty-two dogs admitted to the intensive care unit for treatment following blunt trauma.

Measurements and main results

Animals requiring red blood cell transfusion (N = 8) had significantly lower ABE than those not requiring transfusion (N = 44; median base excess [BE] = −8.4 versus −4.7, P = .0034), while there was no difference in admission packed cell volume (PCV) or age. Animals that died or were euthanized due to progression of signs (N = 5) had lower median ABE than those that survived (N = 47; median BE = −7.3 versus −4.9, P = 0.018). Admission PCV and age were not significantly different between survivors and nonsurvivors. Receiver operator characteristic curve analysis showed an ABE cutoff of −6.6 was 88% sensitive and 73% specific for transfusion requirement (P < 0.001), and a cutoff of −7.3 was 81% sensitive and 80% specific for survival (P < 0.001). Multivariate logistic regression analysis demonstrated that ABE was a predictor of transfusion requirement that was independent of overall severity of injury as measured by the Animal Triage Trauma (ATT) score, but a similar analysis showed that only ATT was an independent predictor of survival.


The ABE in dogs with blunt trauma was a predictor of mortality and blood transfusion requirement within 24 hours.